A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hutch doles out five assists

Again on Wednesday, Andrew Hutchinson had a terrific night. In their victory over the Thrashers the Canes scored five goals, and he had an assist on all of them. He has gone well above any expectations the club had of him. At this point, I would say that he's played himself onto the roster. By my count, he's got a goal and eight assists in three pre-season games. I'm still a little unclear about his status, though. We acquired him in a trade with Nashville, but is thus far without a contract of any kind. I would have to assume that we're working hard to get him signed because he certainly looks like he should be on our every-day roster. His stellar play has rekindled trade rumors involving Aaron Ward or Bret Hedican. Actually, there's a little talk that Hedican might hang 'em up. He's been battling injury for the past two seasons, and he's not getting any younger. It might be a little hard to find any takers in the trade market.
It's a little hard to tell in these split-squad games, but Hutch has been head and shoulders above the rest. The best thing is, he's a defenseman, and he's putting up crazy offensive numbers. The other pre-season standout has been Michael Zigomanis, who lit the lamp once and added an assist on Mikey C's goal.
My guy, Big Joe Vasicek lit the lamp two times and was inexplicably named first star of the game. I mean, two goals is awesome. It's hard to argue with that, but first star should be Hutch. It doesn't really matter, but that's my take on it anyway. Word on the street is that the Czech Condor was really out there owning the ice. Coach Lavi had a heart-to-heart with him before the game and asked him to really utilize his size and skill to his advantage. Boy, did he. We're anticipating a 25+ goal season for Big Joe, and I'm secretly hoping for a 40 goal season.

A bunch of our guys (Whitney, Brind'Amour, Ladd, Stillman) are on the mend. Frankly, there's no reason to send Stillman and Brind'Amour out there in the pre-season. They have nothing to prove and only risk unnecessary injury by going out there.

We've got one more home pre-season game tonight, then on the road for four. They say we're going to make the first round of cuts before we hit the road. I know one thing for sure -- Ziggy (who was already virtually guaranteed a spot) will make the final round of cuts. And I really hope Hutch makes the final cut, too. Actually, Mikey C has played pretty well, too. The positional battles are not that hotly contested with the forwards, but there's some good stuff going on with the D-men.

Tonight we've got the Bolts. I don't know if Stillman will be available to play, but if he is, he'll be something to watch in that game. If not, opening night against the Bolts is only 13 days away.

No comments:


Red And Black Hockey is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Club, the National Hockey League or any of its other member clubs. The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of RBH. Any comments made are the opinion of the commenter, and not necessarily that of RBH.
Whenever possible, RBH uses its own photography. Any incidental use of copyrighted material including photography, logos or other brand markings will not interfere with the owner's profits.